Mark V Diving Helmet
MK V diving helmet in the collection of the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum. The MK V’s iconic copper helmet has made it the best known and most recognizable of the Navy’s diving systems. The Navy used the MK V helmet and diving rig from 1916 and 1984 for salvage and deep sea work. Designed for intensive diving operations and to provide maximum physical protection, the MK V allowed divers to work at much deeper depths than had previously been possible. Although the Navy has used newer, lighter helmets for more than 30 years, the MK V remains the symbol of Navy diving. It appears on everything from Navy diver insignia pins to diving command logos to t-shirts and beer mugs, and has even come to represent diving as a whole. The MK V was the standard diving system used by the Navy for all salvage operations through the early 1980s, when it was phased out in favor of the MK 12 Surface-Supported Diving System.